Arizona coronavirus update: 14,897 confirmed cases, 747 known deaths as of Wednesday
The latest data from the Arizona Department of Health Services is beginning to shed light on which days the state had its highest COVID-19 death toll.
The date with the most deaths in a single day so far is April 30 with 24 deaths, followed by April 23 and May 5 with 23 deaths each. Next come April 19, April 20 and May 8 with 22 deaths on each of those days, according to Wednesday's data, which is likely to change in the days ahead as more deaths are identified.
Arizona's total identified cases rose to 14,897 on Wednesday, with 747 known deaths, according to the most recent state figures. That's an increase of 331 confirmed cases, or 2.3%, since Tuesday when the state reported 14,566 identified cases and 704 deaths.
The number of confirmed cases reported each day has risen steadily over the past weeks as more testing has taken place.
Forty-three new deaths were reported from Tuesday, the highest number of deaths reported on a single day so far.
Deaths have spiked over the last several weeks, although many occurred in previous weeks and are just being added to the system now because of reporting lags and a new death certificate surveillance process. The number of deaths reported each day represents the additional known deaths identified by the health department that day, but they are often not identified on the actual death date and could have occurred weeks prior.
Maricopa County's confirmed cases exceed 7,600, according to state numbers, at 7,644.
The number of Arizona cases likely is higher than official numbers because of limits on supplies and available tests. The state announced April 23 that anyone who believes they could be infected can now get tested.
The Governor's Office and Health Department announced a "testing blitz" with the goal of testing 10,000 to 20,000 people each Saturday for three consecutive weekends. On Friday, the department announced the program would continue for two more Saturdays. Arizona has significantly increased diagnostic testing over the past two weeks because of loosened testing requirements and the weekend blitzes.
The percentage of positive tests per week decreased from 10% four weeks ago to 5% last week, likely in part because a broader range of people are being tested rather than just the very sick.
The state's effort to add new hospital beds has affected the hospitalization data. While the percentage of beds available have been fairly stable over the past couple weeks, the raw numbers of people in the hospital due to COVID-19 have actually gone up.
The latest Arizona data
As of Wednesday morning, the state reported death totals from these counties: 357 in Maricopa, 167 in Pima, 68 in Coconino, 52 in Navajo, 37 in Pinal, 29 in Mohave, 22 in Apache, six in Yavapai and five in Yuma.
La Paz County and Gila County officials reported two deaths each, although the state site listed the two counties and Cochise County as just having fewer than three deaths. Greenlee, Graham and Santa Cruz counties each reported no deaths.
Of the statewide identified cases overall, 47% are men and 53% are women. But men made up a higher percentage of deaths, with 55% of the deaths men and 45% women as of Wednesday.
People 65 and older made up 593 of the 747 total deaths, or 79%. People aged 55-64 made up 12% of deaths, followed by those aged 45-54 with 5% and 20-44 with 4% of deaths.
While race/ethnicity is unknown for 21% of deaths, 41% of deaths were white, 17% were Native American and 16% were Hispanic or Latino.
Overall, Arizona has 207.2 cases and 10.39 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to state data.
The scope of the outbreak differs by county. Maricopa County has 175 cases and 8.17 deaths per 100,000 residents, and Pima has 182.2 cases and 15.99 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Coconino has 652.5 cases and 46.17 deaths per 100,000 residents, and Navajo has 1,206.3 cases and 46.09 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Of the 14,897 cases, 30% involve individuals with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disease, hypertension, chronic pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease or chronic liver disease. In addition, 41% of all cases are considered "high-risk," meaning the individual is either over 65 or has a chronic condition.
Of all confirmed cases, 8% are younger than 20, 39% are aged 20 to 44, 17% are aged 45 to 54, 15% are aged 55 to 64 and 21% are over 65. This aligns with the proportions of testing done for each age range.
The state Health Department website said both state and private laboratories have completed a total of 165,435 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and 61,664 serology, or antibody, tests.
Most COVID-19 diagnostic tests come back negative, the state's dashboard shows, with 6.9% positive. For serology tests, 3.1% have come back positive.
Maricopa County’s Department of Public Health provided more detailed information on its 7,552 cases Wednesday (the state reported its cases at 7,644):
- Confirmed cases increased by 143 from Tuesday to Wednesday. Deaths increased by 18 to 343.
- The cases are 46% men and 54% women.
- 1,176 cases have been linked to residents of long-term care facilities. Of those, 262 people (22%) have been hospitalized and 247 people (21%) have died.
- 181 long-term care facilities have at least one positive case from a resident or staff. Of the 584 staff members at these facilities who have tested positive, 32 have been hospitalized and two have died.
- 503 people under age 19 have tested positive, making up 7% of positive cases.
- People aged 20 to 44 make up 40% of positive cases, followed by people 45 to 64 years old at 31% and people 65 or older at 22%.
- 13%, or 973 cases, have been hospitalized.
- 4%, or 271 cases, have been in the intensive care unit. The hospitalization and ICU numbers include any cases that were in the hospital or ICU at any time during their illness, the county says.
- The likelihood of being hospitalized or in the ICU increases with age. Of those aged 20-44, 190 (6%) were hospitalized and 41 (1%) were in the ICU. For people aged 45-64, 337 (14%) were hospitalized and 98 (4%) were in the ICU. Among those over age 65, there were 438 (26%) hospitalized and 131 (8%) in the ICU.
- Of the 343 deaths in Maricopa County, six were aged 20-44, 32 were aged 45-64 and 305 were over age 65.
- Of the 343 deaths, 89% were 65 or older, 66% had a chronic medical condition and 95% were high risk (meaning 65 or older or at least one chronic medical condition).
Cases rise in other counties
According to Wednesday's state update, Pima County reported 1,903 identified cases. Navajo County reported 1,361 cases, while Apache County reported 1,080, Coconino County reported 961, Pinal County reported 724, Yuma County reported 450, Yavapai County reported 273 and Mohave County reported 267.
Santa Cruz County reported 102 cases, Cochise County reported 46, La Paz County reported 40, Gila County reported 22, Graham County reported 21 and Greenlee County reported three, according to state numbers.
The Navajo Nation reported a total of 4,153 and 144 confirmed deaths as of Tuesday evening. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Navajo Nation has issued an emergency order requiring all individuals to wear masks in public and enforced its sixth 57-hour curfew this past weekend in order to slow the spread.
CRUELTIES OF COVID-19: As the Navajo Nation fights COVID-19, its leaders say 'we will win'
145 cases in Arizona prisons
The Arizona Department of Corrections' online dashboard said 145 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday. The cases are at these six facilities: 65 in Florence, 39 in Yuma, 23 in Tucson, nine in Marana, five in Eyman, two in Phoenix, one in Perryville and one in Kingman.
The department had tested 699 inmates, with 393 negative cases and 161 pending out of a total population of 41,253.
Six inmate deaths are under investigation, with one death at Florence determined to be directly or indirectly the result of COVID-19. Five other deaths, four at Florence and one at Tucson, are preliminarily attributed to COVID-19. Thirty-one inmates have recovered.
Sixty-seven staff members have self-reported positive for the virus, and 47 have been certified as recovered, the department said.
Both legal and nonlegal visitations have been suspended through June 13, at which point the department will reassess. Temporary video visitation will be available to approved visitors and inmates who have visitation privileges, the department announced. Inmates are eligible for one 15-minute video visit per week. CenturyLink also is giving inmates two additional 15-minute calls for free during each week visitation is restricted.
Support local journalism.Subscribe to azcentral.com today.